This is what we, the have-nots, really stand to lose post-Brexit

Please send your letters to

Sunday 05 August 2018 20:41
It's the haves who benefited from the EU, not the have-nots
It's the haves who benefited from the EU, not the have-nots

When I read the likes of Beryl Wall lecturing those who voted Brexit (Letters 4 August 2018) about supposed losses of employment rights, human rights, farming and fishing subsidies, exchange of security information and freedom of movement, I want to scream.

First up, those harping on about employment rights don’t live in the same reality as the rest of Britain’s workforce where workplace bullying by management is routine, not rare. And all the vaunted European Union employee protection regulations are tissue paper (and well they knew it when drafted!) when unrestricted immigration means if you don’t like it (or are forced out by workplace stress-induced mental illness) there’s plenty out there ready to take your place until they too are burnt out.

Those “human rights” acts didn’t stop all those deportations and rendition flights from the UK, those fishing subsidies didn’t stop our fishing industry and the communities dependent on them from collapsing (exactly as the Icelandics warned us would happen during the Cod War). Anyone that has been to the chokeholds passing for British airports or seaports in the last five years will know freedom of movement couldn’t be any more restricted in practice if we tried.

As for exchange of security information, MI5 and MI6-SIS routinely exchanged info with the likes of Interpol, Mossad and other non-EU organisations for over a century, long before the EU, Europol or indeed any of the aforementioned organisations ever existed.

It’s the haves who benefited from the EU, not the have-nots. That the latter voted to put an end to it shows where politicians’ priorities must now lie before the have-nots decide to take more drastic action on callous metropolitans who see them as mere beasts of burden for their aggrandisement.

Mark Boyle

Brexiteers are putting ideology ahead of everything else, not the EU Commission

Pots and kettles come to mind as Liam Fox is quoted as saying: “It’s up to the EU27 to determine whether they want the EU Commission’s ideological purity to be maintained at the expense of their real economies.”

Isn’t it the intransigence of the UK’s Brextremists that is putting ideology ahead of everything else in spite of the inevitable long-term damage inflicted upon our economy?

Nobody wins in this situation, but why do we have to be losers? Call the whole thing off. Please.

Helen Watson
Goring Heath, Oxfordshire

As a Franco-Scot, I never cease to be amazed at the ability of UK politicos to misunderstand the French. Perhaps it’s because they are monolingual and chat in Franglaise, or translate diplomatic letters with dictionaries that don’t convey the right meaning.

Even so, Theresa May’s presumption that the French might break ranks with Brussels over their domestic concerns, and force the hardline European Commission to make concessions that would benefit Britain, was wishful thinking of a high order.

Let me try to explain: Macron wants more European integration, not less, and the departure of the recalcitrant Brits cements the Franco-German axis and resurrects Jacques Delors’ dream. Moreover, it’s in his interests that our exit is prohibitively painful.

Reverend Dr John Cameron
St Andrews

The Labour Party needs to come out in support of a second referendum

The great irony of this summer is that with the cabinet on trips round Europe they have finally agreed on one thing: a no-deal Brexit is becoming ever more likely.

As a student, this truly makes me worry about my future prospects. This deal does not have to, and should not have to, occur. If only Corbyn’s Labour Party could follow the views of its membership and support a People’s Vote, May would not be able withstand the pressure. Alas, he has consistently voted against the EU (even in 1975) and it’s against the odds that he will change now. The centrist wing of his party may need a revolution.

Colin Tuchel

Don’t forget the UK’s non-mainstream Pride celebrations

It is, of course, fantastic that Brighton has been home to a truly epic Pride. Just brilliantly inclusive and celebratory once again – big, big congrats people!!! But please don’t forget that Pride was held on the Isle of Wight just a couple of weeks ago – the second on the island – where thousands of people celebrated, were included and, yes, hoorayed, cheered and grooved along that mega-Pride processional flag.

No, I’m not being competitive, just pointing out that national coverage from the Isle of Wight celebrations could be both fundamental to shift perceptions that the island is hooked into a previous century (et al) and, of course, present the whole range of UK and global locations that Pride is rightly celebrated in.

Name supplied
Address supplied

Trump’s anti-press stance is getting out of hand

Donald Trump’s latest salvo venting anger at Attorney General Jeff Sessions is symptomatic of a guilty man terrified what his personal lawyer Michael Cohen – and Paul Manafort, his former campaign manager – might reveal under a plea bargain deal with special prosecutor Robert Mueller.

Mr Trump is talking and behaving like a mafia boss, claiming that Paul Manafort is being treated worse than Alphonse Capone, legendary mob boss, killer and public enemy number one. Really? This takes hyperbole to a new level.

According to Matthew Axelrod, a longtime prosecutor who served in in the Obama Justice Department, urging Sessions to end the inquiry was a clear indication that Trump was asking him to “subvert the law”.

His latest tweet is a concerted effort to attack the integrity of the special counsel, the courts and, according to prosecutor Axelrod, “all institutions designed to provide checks on executive authority and executive overreach”. Senator Patrick J Leahy, Democrat of Vermont concurred. What is of the utmost concern is the possibility that Sessions might buckle under Trump’s white hot rhetoric.

Frightened that Mueller and his posse of lawyers is closing in, Trump’s war on the “fake” media, whipping his crowds into a frenzy screaming “lock her up” and directing their anger at the media, is intensifying. It was extremely heartbreaking to see so many young people exposed to so much anger. If violence is targeted at the media, Trump will have blood on his hands.

Tejinder Uberoi
Los Altos, California

Curbing plastic waste requires real action

It comes as no surprise to me at all that only one-third of plastic waste is recyclable. The local authorities and recycling companies blame the manufacturers; the manufacturers blame the recycling companies; the retailers just carry on retailing.

Nothing much substantial happens despite concerned householders tearing their hair out at the ever-increasing amounts of plastic packaging – and the total confusion over what to put where, or not.

The government, of course, will do little, so it is down to consumers to resolve it. If only an appropriate body (Which? Friends of the Earth? I’m not sure who) mounted a long-term, hardhitting campaign against manufacturers and retailers, unashamedly shaming where appropriate, praising where praise is occasionally due, and reporting annually in a league table format based on an utterly merciless methodology.

Patrick Cosgrove

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments